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PRO Group Joins Forces With BrandSource


The Progressive
Retailers Organization (PRO Group)
has merged with Home Entertainment
Source (HES), a division of the $14 billion
BrandSource buying group.

The combined entity, called Pro-
Source, formalizes a strategic partnership
that was forged two years ago
between the two specialty A/V buying
organizations under The Alliance banner.

PRO, which serves larger regional
dealers including Vann’s, Sixth Avenue
Electronics and Huppin’s/OneCall, and
HES, which is comprised of 550 smaller
independents, will continue to operate
as separate entities beneath the Pro-
Source umbrella.

Dave Workman will continue as executive
director/COO of PRO Group, and
Jim Ristow remains executive VP of HES.

Together the two groups account for
950 storefronts and about $3.6 billion
dollars in CE revenue, making ProSource
the country’s largest buying and merchandising
organization for premium CE
specialty retailers, BrandSource said.

The merger, said ProSource, will help
independent dealers expand their product
lines, enter new categories and collectively
place larger-volume orders with
key vendors, which will increase the
channel’s influence within the industry.

The new organization will also provide
members with expanded advertising
programs, e-commerce initiatives,
business solutions and “best practices”
sharing, ProSource said.

“The goal is to bring members from
both organizations together to create
the best and most influential merchandising
group in the industry for the independent
retailer,” said Workman.

Added Ristow: “This merger allows us
to compete in compelling new ways by offering customers expert knowledge,
the best vendors and the latest advances
in CE solutions and technology. Key
manufacturers will have a tremendous
opportunity to optimize their positions in
our storefronts as our members offer customized
recommendations and hands-on
demonstrations to the consumer.”

The merger continues the trend of
buying group consolidation, as smaller
independent organizations such as
BrandSource’s Resource Plus division
(formerly MARTA), and Nationwide Marketing
Group’s NECO Alliance chapter,
align themselves with larger groups.

The new ProSource organization formally
debuted Wednesday, Jan. 5, at
PRO Group’s annual CES-eve cocktail
reception at Bally’s Hotel in Las Vegas.